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Japanese Pancake Lover? Dream Guide to Tokyo’s Top 10 Pancake Shops

Japanese Pancake Lover? Dream Guide to Tokyo’s Top 10 Pancake Shops

Date published: 16 June 2019
Last updated: 14 June 2019

Tokyo’s pancake boom has brought an amazing variety of taste in innovation to some of the city’s most sought-after sweets. Part of the attraction is not only the pancakes themselves, but also the opportunity for great food photos.

Here are LIVE JAPAN's carefully selected top 10 high-value and super-delicious pancakes. If you’re hoping to become the envy of your friends with your Instagram and Facebook pancake posts, check out our list!

1. Rainbow Pancake: Harajuku’s Super-Popular Spot That's Worth the Queue

1. Rainbow Pancake: Harajuku’s Super-Popular Spot That's Worth the Queue

Among Harajuku’s many popular dessert an pancake shops, Rainbow Pancake continues to be a top stop for TV, magazine, and online attention. It’s not uncommon for a long queue to form outside well before the shop opens. The most ordered item on the menu is Rainbow’s signature Macadamia Nuts Sauce Pancake. Consisting of two thick, fluffy pancakes covered in a slightly salty milk sauce and sprinkled with macadamia nuts, this Instagram superstar is well worth the one-hour wait.

  • Rainbow Pancake
    レインボーパンケーキ
    • Address ARES GARDEN OMOTESANDO 2F, 4-28-4 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 150-0001
    • Nearest Station 5-minute walk from Harajuku Station Takeshita Exit (JR Yamanote Line); 3-minute walk from Meiji Jingumae “Harajuku” Station Exit 5 (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line & Fukutoshin Line)

    Hours: 10:00 - 18:00 (LO 17:00), closed Tues.

2. Royal Garden Cafe Shibuya: A Perfect Match

2. Royal Garden Cafe Shibuya: A Perfect Match

Located in the lively Shibuya shopping district, Royal Garden Cafe mainly offers Western-style meals, coffee, and afternoon tea. But the store's Ricotta Cheese Pancake with Banana, only available after 3 p.m. Served with hot bananas and cool berries, these moist pancakes are soaked in 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, and offer a rich multi-layered flavor experience with every bite.

  • Royal Garden Café
    ロイヤルガーデンカフェ 渋谷店
    • Address 2F, Hoteruyunizo, 4-3, Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0042, Japan
    • Nearest Station 10-minute walk from Shibuya Station (JR Yamanote Line; Tokyo Metro Hanzomon, Fukutoshin, and Ginza Lines; Keio Inokashira Line; Tokyu Den-en-toshi and Tokyu Lines)

    Hours: 11:00 - 23:00 (L.O. 22:00)

3. Micasadeco & Café: Seductively Sweet Pancakes

3. Micasadeco & Café: Seductively Sweet Pancakes

Micasadeco & Café, originating in Osaka, opened its Harajuku shop in 2016. The top seller is their Soft Cheese Pancakes – three layers of thick, spongy pancakes with Ricotta cheese baked until their surface has just a touch of golden yellow. Add just a bit of cream, powdered sugar, whipped cream and maple syrup and these tasty treats are sure to have you under their spell in no time!

  • Micasadeco & Café
    MICASADECO&café 神宮前
    • Address HOLONⅢ2F, 6-16-5, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001, Japan
    • Nearest Station 10-minute walk from Shibuya Station Exit 13 (JR Yamanote Line); 7-minute walk from Meiji Jingumae “Shinjuku” Station Exit 7 (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line & Fukutoshin Line)

    11:00 - 19:00 (L.O. 18:30)

4. Microcosmos: Ultra-thick Pancakes

4. Microcosmos: Ultra-thick Pancakes

Near Shinsen Station on the Keio Inokashira Line you’ll find a stylish café that doubles as a small bar. Microcosmos is the place to have a coffee or a drink in a music-filled artistic atmosphere. They offer three kinds of pancake: Blueberry & Cream, Maple Syrup Butter & Cream, and Banana & Cream. These eye-catchingly thick pancakes can also be made to order with white or whole-wheat flour. Served with fresh fruit and maple syrup, Microcosmos’ pancakes will wow you with their crisp, savory taste.

  • microcosmos
    ミクロコスモス
    • Address Fuontesu Bld. 2F, 2-23-12, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043, Japan
    • Nearest Station 8-minute walk from Shibuya Station (JR Yamanote Line); 8-minute walk from Shinsen Station (Keio Inokashira Line)

    Hours: Sun. - Thurs.: 11:30 - 24:00; Fri., Sat., & the day before a national holiday: 11:30 - 23:00 Lunch, 11:30 - 15:30; Afternoon meals, 15:30 - 17:00; Dinner, from 17:00

5. iki ESPRESSO TOKYO: Not Only a Coffee Shop!

5. iki ESPRESSO TOKYO: Not Only a Coffee Shop!

Iki ESPRESSO TOKYO started in Kamakura before moving to Tokyo’s Kiyosumi-shirakawa coffee district in January 2016 and gaining further attention online. The owners are dedicated to promoting the coffee and brunch culture of New Zealand and Macao. Not only do they personally select and roast their coffee beans, but also prepare professional-grade meals like their Ricotta Hotcakes. These delicate soufflé-style cakes take about twenty minutes to prepare, and are worth the wait. With a tempting aroma of egg and milk, and an impressive thickness, you’ll be eager to sample their mouth-watering goodness. Simply topped with maple syrup and season fruits, be sure to try iki ESPRESSO TOKYO’s refreshing pancakes!

  • iki ESPRESSO TOKYO
    イキエスプレッソ
    • Address 2-2-12, Tokiwa, Koto-ku, Tokyo, 135-0006, Japan
    • Nearest Station 5-minute walk from Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station Exit A1 (Tokyo Metro Line, Toei Subway Oedo Line)

    Hours: 08:00 - 19:00

6. Riz Labo Kitchen: Super Healthy Pancakes?!

6. Riz Labo Kitchen: Super Healthy Pancakes?!

Riz Labo Kitchen was started by rice flour experts and is located in a renovated old house in the quiet neighborhood of Omotesando. The interior of the store is full of Japanese tradition and style. Anything but traditional, their pancakes are also true Japanese specialties featuring matcha powder from Uji, Kyoto, and red bean paste from Hokkaido. Made with rice flour instead of wheat flour, these gluten free pancakes also use organic milk, domestic organic eggs, and organic sugars to present a refreshing alternative for health-conscious pancake fans.

  • Riz Labo Kitchen
    リズラボキッチン
    • Address Urasandouga-den 1F, 4-15-2, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001, Japan
    • Nearest Station 7-minute walk from Omotesando Station (Tokyo Metro, Chiyoda, Ginza, and Hanzomon Lines)

    Hours: 11:00 - 17:00 (L.O. 16:30), closed Mon.

7. Daikanyama Pancake Cafe Clover’s: An Interesting Twist in the Recipe

7. Daikanyama Pancake Cafe Clover’s: An Interesting Twist in the Recipe

A mere three-minute walk from Daikanyama’s north exit you’ll find Pancake Cafe Clover's. The manager and chef, who has more than 25 years of experience in French cuisine, insists on using natural ingredients to make pancakes, so customers can enjoy the healthy and delicious dishes. Among them is the signature Sweet Pancake Muffin, which has retained its throne as the shop’s most popular pancake for over a decade. Using a blend of Japanese wheat flour and rice flour, no water, and 40% yogurt, these low calorie pancakes are refreshing. Strawberries and smooth, savory cream combine with maple syrup to give Clover’s pancakes a delicious sweetness to the very last bite!

  • Daikanyama PANCAKE Cafe Clover's
    代官山パンケーキカフェ クローバーズ
    • Address 18-8, Daikanyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0034, Japan
    • Nearest Station 9-minute walk from Ebisu Station (JR Yamanote Line); 3-minute walks from Daikanyama Station (Tokyu Toyoko Line)

    Hours: 11:00 - 20:00

8. ELLE café Aoyama: Healthy, Delicious, and Beautiful

8. ELLE café Aoyama: Healthy, Delicious, and Beautiful

The ELLE café Aoyama flagship store opened by the famous French fashion magazine ELLE not only pays attention to the value of its meals, but also to healthy eating! It advocates a diet that is both healthy and beautiful. In addition, internationally renowned chef Melissa King has invited to serve as an executive guest chef. The café uses a wide range of organic and fresh ingredients, to prepare gluten-free, low-sugar, low-calorie, and vegetarian dishes. If you haven’t already, you’ll absolutely want to try the Berry & Buffalo Milk Yogurt Pancakes, made from organic rice flour, black rice flour and Japanese-sourced eggs. This photogenic dish is ecstasy in a pancake!

  • ELLE café Aoyama
    エル カフェ 青山店
    • Address 1F・2F, Raporuto, 5-51-8, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001, Japan
    • Nearest Station 3-minute walk from Omotesando Station Exit B2 (Tokyo Metro, Chiyoda, Ginza, and Hanzomon Lines)

    Hours: Deli, Weekdays 9:00 - 21:00, Sat., Sun., and national holidays 8:00 - 21:00; Café, Weekdays 9:00 - 23:00, Sat., Sun., and national holidays 8:00 - 23:00

9. Ki to Mizu to Tuchi to: Two Tastes Innovatively Combined

9. Ki to Mizu to Tuchi to: Two Tastes Innovatively Combined

A hot topic on Japanese social networking sites, Ki to Mizu to Tuchi to (Trees, water, and soil), is another of Harajuku’s favoured pancake specialty shops. A definite must-try is their Crème Brûlée Pancake. The top pancake of this unique double-stack has a sweet, caramelized surface. Below the crispy pancake is a thick layer of silky custard cream, and then another softer pancake. Subverting traditional pancake expectations, it’s almost like eating two desserts in one and the sweet and tart berry garnish will only further your satisfaction!

  • Ki to Mizu to Tuchi to
    木と水と土と
    • Address 4-13-4, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001, Japan
    • Nearest Station 7-minute walk from Meiji Jingumae “Harajuku” Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda & Fukutoshin Lines); 5-minute walk from Omotesando Station (Tokyo Metro, Chiyoda, Ginza, and Hanzomon Lines)

    Hours: 10:00 - 20:00 (L.O. 19:30), closed Dec. 31st & Jan. 1st

10. Cafe restaurant accueil: Award-Winning Pancakes

10. Cafe restaurant accueil: Award-Winning Pancakes

Cafe restaurant accueil is located in the fashion district between Ebisu and Daikanyama. While also serving light meals and pasta, one of the major highlights of accueil’s menu is their generous variety of pancakes. They’re on the American style and then various ingredients are added to create about twenty kinds of seasonal and year-round pancakes. Not only that, but the "cafe restaurant accueil" pancakes also won first place in the 2015 Japanese national pancake popularity list. How could you miss the opportunity to sample an award-winning treat? These delightful pancakes are certainly social network-worthy, but be prepared for a steady stream of interested replies!

  • cafe restaurant accueil
    アクイーユ
    • Address Eregantevi-ta1F, 2-10-10, Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0021, Japan
    • Nearest Station 4-minutes walk from Ebisu Station (JR Yamanote Line & Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line); 5-minutes walk from Daikanyama Station (Tokyu Toyoko Line)

    Hours: Sun. - Thurs., 11:00- 21:00 (L.O.); Fri., Sat., the day before a national holiday, 11:00 – 22:00 (L.O.); closed Dec. 31st & Jan. 1st

Tokyo has become a pancake paradise, and each menu you open will bring fresh new flavors. No matter how sweet or salty, no matter how thick or thin, you’ll find unbelievably delicious pancakes throughout Tokyo. Where do you want to go next?

Written by Yu. English by Gabriel Wilkinson.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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